People boarding a bus

How-to: Riding the bus

  1. howto_ridebus_findstopFind your bus stop and wait near the sign.
    Bus stops are usually located one or two blocks apart.

    Stand near the bus stop sign where the person driving the bus will be able to see you. (In Evanston, buses stop at any corner—wait at a corner where a bus driver can see you and flag the bus as it approaches.)

    You can look up when buses are arriving using CTA Bus Tracker or many transit apps available for your phone, including our Ventra app.

  2. howto_ridebus_destsignCheck the destination sign as the bus approaches (or read the one on the side when it stops).
    Some stops are served by multiple routes and not all buses on every route go to the furthest end of the line, so be sure to read the sign to see the bus route number, name, and where it's headed when boarding.

    When the bus opens its doors, it will also audibly announce the bus's route and destination.

    (If you're not sure if the bus is going where you need to go, you can always ask, too!)

  3. howto_ridebus_rideRide.
    Have your fare ready when the bus approaches and pay your fare as you enter. (Learn how to buy fare and pay fare.)

    Buses announce stops both audibly and visually on the bus.

    Enjoy your ride!


  • Notify the bus driver when you wish to exit the bus. Simply pull the stop request cord that runs along the upper part of the windows, or push a stop request button, sometimes located above the rear door or on a pole.

    (Accessibility tip: If you're using a wheelchair (or other wheeled mobility device that is parked in a wheelchair position), push the yellow strip affixed to the seat next to you at the wheelchair position--this will notify the bus operator that someone at a wheelchair position needs to exit.)
  • Use the rear door to exit. By exiting at the rear door, people waiting to board the bus can enter immediately--this allows the bus to move faster and keep schedule.
  • Move all the way into the bus. By moving all the way in, you make it easier and makes more room for others to get on and move through the bus.
  • Keep aisles and exits clear. Blocking aisles or exits can slow down the bus. To help make everyone's ride faster, try to keep bags or other items out of the aisles.
System status snapshot
‘L’ route status
Red Line
Normal Service
Blue Line
Normal Service
Brown Line
Normal Service
Green Line
Normal Service
Orange Line
Normal Service
Pink Line
Normal Service
Purple Line
Normal Service
Yellow Line
Normal Service
Bus routes w/alerts
Elevator alerts